Hurricane, a Secret Service dog part of the USSS Emergency Response Team, received the Order of Merit from the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals, a British veterinary charity. The black Belgian Malinois, who protected President Barack Obama and his family from an intruder into the White House, received the award for devotion to duty.
On 22nd October 2014, an intruder mounted the north lawn fence at the White House. In response to this, Hurricane leapt at the intruder and took him off his feet, pushing him back. Unfortunately, Hurricane also was injured in this process.
— U.S. Embassy London (@USAinUK) October 4, 2019
Hurricane and his trainer Marshall Mirarchi flew to the United Kingdom to receive the award. Mirarchi has worked with Hurricane from 2012 to 2016 and has been with Hurricane since its retirement.
Mirarchi said, “Hurricane was such a legend within the Service. He loved working and his talent for the job impressed me every single day.
“That night, he stepped up and delivered under circumstances that no amount of training could prepare him for. I have never witnessed such violence toward a dog before but it didn’t stop him from doing his job.
“I am so proud of him and extremely thankful to PDSA for honouring his service and actions in this way.”
Interestingly, Hurricane became the first international dog to be awarded the honour, which is often called the “animal equivalent of the Royal Order of the British Empire (OBE).”
The Order of Merit “recognises animals who display outstanding devotion above and beyond normal companionship, and animal acts that symbolise their special relationship with humans,” the organization said.